Manga Review – Record of Lodoss War: Lady of Pharis Vol. 1

Well, I’ve got  a manga review for you this time.  This time around, I’ve got the first installment of the Record Of Lodoss War prequel manga “Lady of Pharis”.

General Information

Title: Record of Lodoss War: Lady of Pharis (Vol. 1)
Writers: Ryo Mitzuno
Illustrators: Akihiro Yamada
Original Publication Date: March 2000 (this edition)
ISBN: 1-562189-926-9
Cover Price: $15.95
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Prior to the events of the Record of Lodoss War OVA, a powerful evil demon seeks to send all of Lodoss into the grip of war. It is up to the mercenary Beld, the warrior priest Flaus, the sorcerer Wart, and the holy knight Fahn to stop this evil before it spread.

High Point

The art is much more richly detailed than I’ve seen for any other fantasy manga. It’s like Boris Vallejo did a fantasy comic, sort of (the body types are more realistic than Vallejo). This also leads into the low point.

Low Point

The art style makes the manga itself fairly difficult to parse. It really made it a struggle to read at
times, particularly in fight scenes.

The Scores

OriginalityIt’s an adaptation of a novel, though it’s not as directly based on the original role-playing game campaign that the OVA (and related novels) are based on. Instead, this provides the backstory for the series. 4 out of 6.

ArtworkAs I mentioned, the art here is gorgeous. Yamada is probably one of the best fantasy artists of all time. I don’t know how well it works for manga though. 5 out of 6.

StoryThe story is okay, though incomplete. The characters are two dimensional, which doesn’t help things. 3 out of 6.

CharacterizationAs I mentioned under story, the characters are two-dimensional, which is really unfortunate, because, as a fan of the series, I wanted to know how Beld and Fahn, who were once allies, turned into enemies. 3 out of 6

Emotional ResponseThe emotional response is hampered by 3 points. 1) The two dimensional characters. 2) The lack of chemistry between the characters. 3) We already know how this is going to turn out anyway, because they explain this in the OVA, which means we’re just going on the Chemistry to make us want to know how they get there. 3 out of 6.

FlowThe flow of the comic is okay, though I had to go over the fight scenes multiple times. Again, this may be in part due to Yamada’s art style not necessarily working well in Manga. 3 out of 6.

OverallOverall, it’s an okay comic, and it’s different from most standard fantasy novels and comics these days. If you’re a big fan of the world, give it a shot, but unless business really picks up in the second half, I’d say to give this a pass. 3 out of 6.

In total Record of Lodoss War: Lady of Pharis (Vol. 1) gets 24 out of 42.